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Labor Day Beer Pairing

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It's Labor Day! A day full of fun, family, barbecues and beer!  Why not spice up your end of the summer BBQ by pairing up some of your favorite beers with your favorite foods?

Any local liquor store or Trader Joe's can help you choose beer from each category. A lot of beers are served in larger bottles, so you don't have to buy a whole six-pack for each type.

Course No. 1
Pale ale with Manchego and smoked Gouda Cheese: Serve the beer in a regular pint glass. The cheese should broken into pieces so that the edges are rough. Serve on a plate with some grapes and a side dish of blackberry jam.
Course No. 2
Pilsner with caviar on toasted wheat toast and cream cheese: This beer should be served in a glass that gets skinnier towards the bottom and has a lip. Trim the crust off the bread and cut it into smaller pieces. The cream cheese should be a light smear. To keep the price down, find a domestic caviar. They even sell it at local grocery stores, including Trader Joe's!

Course No. 3
Hefeweizen with shrimp and dipping sauce: This beer should be served in a glass that also gets skinnier towards the bottom, but there is no lip. It looks similar to a half yard. Buy the cooked shrimp from the grocery store and get two different sauces for variety. Traditional cocktail, tartar, and creamy spicy sauces are great choices. Try this recipe that uses cream cheese, A.1. and horseradish.
Course No. 4
Amber ale with gourmet sliders and herbed butter spread:  Serve this beer in chilled glass beer mugs. Treat the chopped meat for the mini-burgers before you grill them. For each pound of meat, mix in 1 raw egg, and sprinkle a hefty amount of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and a fresh chopped onion. The mini-buns are easy to find at the grocery store. Shape your burgers to fit them. Prepare the butter spread by mixing butter with parsley, tarragon, sage, scallions and lemon juice. For 2 sticks of butter, the herb mixture should be about 2 tbsp. Pre-spread it on the rolls and add an appropriately sized piece of crisp butter lettuce.
Course No. 5
Dark ale with dark chocolate cake: Serve this beer in a snifter. You can buy the cake at a local bakery. Because it's so heavy and at the end of the meal, serve this with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

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